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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Killian Hayes, Jalen Williams, Alec Burks (2022)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Nov 23, 2022
Shake Milton

Hey! Don’t ignore Shake Milton!

It’s Wednesday. You know what that means.

Well, this week, it means that we are doing the waiver wire column a week early due to the holiday.

It’s time for another look at the waiver wire to find players that you can add for short-term and long-term success.

We’ll look at players that you should consider picking up who are rostered in four different rostership tiers:

  • 50-60%
  • 30-49%
  • 15-29%
  • 0-14%

What’s more, we’ll give you a breakdown of how many games each team has for the upcoming week so that you can maximize the minutes of your streamers.

Without further delay, let’s get to it, starting with the schedule of games being played for next week.

Check out the latest fantasy basketball expert consensus rankings >>

Five games:

N/A

Four games:

BOS, BKN, CHI, CLE, DEN, HOU, IND, LAL, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHX, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS

Three games:

ATL, CHA, DAL, DET, GSW, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, OKC, PHI, SAS

Two games:

MIA

Rostered in 50-60% of leagues:

Shake Milton (PG/SG – PHI)

The Sixers just can’t stay healthy, apparently. Joel Embiid is missing a few games, joining Tyrese Maxey and James Harden on the shelf. They avoided another scare Tuesday after Tobias Harris seemed to injure his ankle before returning to the game. While the biggest beneficiary is – and has been – De’Anthony Melton, don’t ignore Milton over the next couple of weeks while Harden and/or Maxey are on the shelf. Milton has averaged 19.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists over his last three games. He’s worth the short-term look.

Aleksej Pokusevski (SF/PF/C – OKC)

The bad news is that Poku missed his second straight game with an ankle injury Wednesday. The good news is that his rostership number dropped 7% over the last few days, making him eligible for this column. We’re still seeking the overall consistency from Poku with production and minutes, but the most recent stretch he’s had has been the most consistent production we’ve seen from him in the non-tanking time of the season. Poku is worth grabbing for his points, rebounds, and blocks upside.

Rostered in 30-49% of leagues:

Killian Hayes (PG/SG – DET)

I have nothing against Hayes, but I’m frustrated that I have to include him here. It’s the result of Cade Cunningham likely missing the rest of the season. So Hayes is not a must-roster player as the fill-in – along with Alec Burks – in the backcourt in Detroit. Hayes is still looking to evolve into a scorer – he did drop 18 points a few games ago – but the assists are the biggest contribution he’ll provide fantasy managers. He’s averaging 8 per game over his last three contests.

Jalen Williams (SG/SF – OKC)

Williams shifted to the bench, but it didn’t matter. The rookie from Santa Clara has now scored in double-digits in four straight games, and he’s hit 26 minutes in each of those contests. The other categories have been hit or miss – notably steals, three-pointers, and assists – as he’ll have multiple or none. But he’s one of the more polished, NBA-ready rookies this year who can actually make a consistent contribution for fantasy teams.

Rostered in 15-29% of leagues:

Alec Burks (PG/SG/SF – DET)

While Hayes will give you the assists you want while Cunningham is on the shelf, Burks will be the player to target from the wire if you need three-point or scoring help. Burks is averaging 20 points and 2.6 three-pointers per game over his last three games. Ride the wave while it lasts for Burks but beware of the dip.

Tari Eason (SF/PF – HOU)

The breakout is coming. Just be patient. Shoutout to Matt Lawson for the following stat:

There’s playing time available for Eason, and he just scored a career-high 19 points. It feels like it could be an Alperen Sengun situation again, but the upside is worth waiting for.

Rostered in 0-14% of leagues:

Deni Avdija (SF/PF – WAS)

I understand that I had Avdija here last week, but what’s the issue, folx? Are you so excited for the Giants and Lions that you aren’t paying attention to what’s happening in hoops? Avdija should be rostered in closer to 35 to 40 percent of leagues instead of 14. He had one off-game, sure, but then followed it up with a 12/13 double-double in 31 minutes against Charlotte. He’s been a top-115 player over the last two weeks and should be rostered way more than he is.

Paul Reed (PF/C – PHI)

Reed is more of a deep-league watchlist guy right now, as the only value he’s going to have is when Embiid is out. Montrezl Harrell is still the primary backup in Philadelphia, though Reed is the more talented player. Against the Nets, he showed his promise, as he had 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in a season-high 31 minutes. There’s an upside here, but I don’t trust Doc Rivers to free him up.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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